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5 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

What do you guys think about President Trump? Or is it still too early to form an opinion?

He's an unprincipled, leftist (not a communist and not as bad as a democrat), buffoon.

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2 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

That's what I thought you would say.

LOL, sometimes it takes a little while for a response...

About Trump, I think he's a used car salesman at heart -- only not so reputable, ethical or honest. I think he's blusterous and shallow and anti-intellectual. I think his primary aim is self-aggrandizement. I think he has neither an understanding of, nor a concern for, "liberty." I guess you could say that I don't like the guy.

As President...? If I'm being 100% honest, it hasn't been as bad as I'd feared it might be... but then I must also remember that we're not quite a year into his term. We have a ways to go. If he can manage to survive the investigation into Russia, and doesn't destroy the world in nuclear war, and if his entire administration isn't forced out through petty scandals of one kind or another, then perhaps he'll stick around long enough to truly do some damage to our system.

Or maybe I'll turn out to be completely wrong about him, and he will "drain the swamp," resolve international crises, and institute needed reforms. I know there are Objectivists on Team Trump, after all. It's not what I'm expecting, but it's certainly what I'd be happiest with.

2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

He's an unprincipled, leftist (not a communist and not as bad as a democrat), buffoon.

Do you see him as "leftist"? I don't see him as being left or right, but Trumpist. A populist, a demagogue, a protectionist -- yeah, all of that -- but I don't think he's principled enough to align with left or right as they're typically represented.

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3 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

Do you see him as "leftist"? I don't see him as being left or right, but Trumpist. A populist, a demagogue, a protectionist -- yeah, all of that -- but I don't think he's principled enough to align with left or right as they're typically represented

In the sense of this article yes:

https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/2016/11/americas-next-leftist-president-donald-trump/

Of course he's also everything you say he is too!

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23 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

If we accept Biddle when he writes, "He advocates policies that violate individual rights. That’s what it means to be a leftist," then yes, agreed: Trump is a leftist. And we could say that the "right" refers to those who advocate policies which protect individual rights. I have no problem with that use of terms, as such.

My only objection is that, outside of this very specific and (I would argue) idiosyncratic understanding of "left" and "right," it's bound to cause confusion because, so far as I'm aware, it doesn't conform to historical use or mainstream contemporary use. Or maybe something good could come out of that kind of confusion, actually...

Edited by DonAthos

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I see Trump as a Reform Partyist, i.e., a Centrist with an America First platform. He doesn't appeal to Leftists although he supports socialized medicine and LGBTQ rights. He seems to take a stand on whatever he deems fair and just, whether it is intellectually 'owned' by the Left or the Right. He agrees with whatever aligns with his own way of doing things. But he's not an individualist at all, he is a lone wolf, not the kind that attacks others but merely stays in its den and snarls.

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19 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

In the sense of this article yes:

https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/2016/11/americas-next-leftist-president-donald-trump/

Of course he's also everything you say he is too!

I agree with that article to an extent, but it ignores everything that also makes Trump a right-winger. 

http://theweek.com/articles/664405/donald-trump-building-most-rightwing-administration-american-history

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2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

The first article questions the legitimacy of believing that freedom-hating views are "progressive." I agree and have said that myself many times. Even an anti-intellectual like Bill Maher has said it. Many, many people who hate progressivism have labeled it 'regressivism.'

The article then attempts to reclaim the term "liberal" as meaning pro-political freedom, something even many non-Objectivists have wanted to do for a long time. It is after all a well-known fact that 19th-century liberalism was pro-freedom and even pro-capitalism. But one of the things the classical liberals wanted was freedom to question the traditions tyrannies of the past and to keep them from happening again. Modern "liberals" are also questioning the traditions of the more recent past, including freedom to believe which includes such things as freedom to worship (viz, the First Amendment of the Constitution) and even freedom to hate those of other races. So in a deeper sense they are all liberals. The term "liberal" has historically become synonymous with anti-traditionalist. The anti-religious and even atheistic mentality of some classical liberals is also maintained by modern "liberals." Moreover, the classical liberals tended to be intellectuals; the modern left-wing "liberals" have, in their ivory towers, captured intellectual territory and made reason a slave of dogma. The right-wingers have lost intellectual territory but also have made reason a slave of dogma. Whichever side rules in the cultural ivory tower gets to determine which dogma reason is made a slave of. Neither side considers reason to be an end in itself.

So while I can agree for the sake of definitions that the term 'liberal' applies only to classical liberals, I want to make it clear that, in reality, a liberal is someone who seeks freedom from tradition and is not necessarily pro-political freedom. That's why we have to distinguish classical liberal from modern liberal, desiring as they do different forms of freedom. Modern liberals will declare their desire for freedom from what they consider to be repressive big corporations ("Big Pharma,' for example), or from 'Big Money' on Wall Street. Modern liberals want freedom from what they consider to be repressive, whether it's truly repressive or not. Perhaps they believe that getting rid of money altogether will free them from a repressive economic state. That's true, because in that case they will be free to wander around the mountains eating whatever they can find on the ground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Skylark1

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53 minutes ago, Skylark1 said:

Snarling on Twitter doesn't count as attacking, you know, physically?

Well, you were being metaphorical, so I thought you meant verbal attacks and bullying too. Still, I see it more like he runs around outside barking at whatever moves.

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https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/2016/04/which-ayn-rand-villain-is-donald-trump/

Which Rand villain is Donald Trump? I don't know. In Atlas Shrugged they were either politicians (Trump isn't a politician) or evil industrialists (Trump isn't an industrialist). 

But in pursuit of that question I don't want to form and answer and then, in an ad hoc way, produce evidence to support it. Because what I see Trump doing in many of those outtakes is refusing to show his hand, if you know what I mean. He says it right in the article above: "We’re totally predictable. And predictable is bad. Sitting at a meeting like this and explaining my views and if I do become president, I have these views that are down for the other side to look at, you know. I hate being so open." So he doesn't want "the other side" to know what he believes and what he's planning. He wants to be unpredictable, which in my opinion would obviate any "pre-emptive strikes" against one of his policies by democrats. 

I would say Trump is in the "clever without being intelligent" category, although I understand that his IQ is supposedly in the genius category.

Edited by Skylark1

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From https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/2016/04/which-ayn-rand-villain-is-donald-trump/

 

TRUMP: —Well, I, you know, again, I don’t like to tell you what I’d do, because I don’t want to . . . You understand what I’m saying, Fred? If I . . . Okay, if I say, “Well, we should go in and do this or that or that, I don’t want to, I don’t want to sort of . . . red flag all over it. I do think this: It’s an unbelievable thing that they’ve done. It’s unbelievable aggression; it’s unbelievable lack of respect for this country.

"Who does Trump sound like there? (If that passage is simply too incoherent to ascribe to a villain in a Rand novel, feel free to think in the direction of James Joyce or the like.)"

I don't find that Trump quote to be incoherent, simply hard to follow. However, when put in the context of how Trump operates, it goes like this:

"I don't want to expose my hand like this, so... Let me just say that it was very disrespectful of China. But dealing with it is not high on my list of priorities."

Edited by Skylark1

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5 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Did you try searching the forum for "Trump"?

I just found your post. I didn't do that, but I have been using google to search www.theobjectivestandard.com for "Trump" and found a lot of helpful articles.

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I've been reading Biddle articles, and I'm finding that his political definitions are very non-mainstream, for example, putting Nazism on the Far Left.

Edited by Skylark1

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6 minutes ago, Skylark1 said:

I just found your post. I didn't do that, but I have been using google to search www.theobjectivestandard.com for "Trump" and found a lot of helpful articles.

Per your OP:

10 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

What do you guys think about President Trump? Or is it still too early to form an opinion?

Searching The Objective Standard is not going to provide you with a cross section of what individuals on the Objectivism Online Forum think about Donald Trump.

Welcome to OO.

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Just now, dream_weaver said:

Per your OP:

Searching The Objective Standard is not going to provide you with a cross section of what individuals on the Objectivism Online Forum think about Donald Trump.

Welcome to OO.

That's true, and thank you. 

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3 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Per your OP:

Searching The Objective Standard is not going to provide you with a cross section of what individuals on the Objectivism Online Forum think about Donald Trump.

Welcome to OO.

I just searched this forum and only came up with this thread.

2 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Per your OP:

Searching The Objective Standard is not going to provide you with a cross section of what individuals on the Objectivism Online Forum think about Donald Trump.

Welcome to OO.

That's true, and thank you. 

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At the onset of the 2016 primary season, I would not have believed it possible for Donald Trump to win the nomination. How wrong I was!

There are two rhetorical questions to consider when forming an opinion about Trump: 1) Is Trump the most qualified individual for holding the office he now holds?; 2) What has happened to the nation that made his success in politics possible?

Is Trump qualified? He meets all of the legal requirements. The legitimacy of his election remains a legal matter to be settled. Was he unlawfully assisted by Russian confederates, or not? I think he stands a good chance of surviving this problem. As others have noted, he gives the appearance of a petulant anti-intellectual bully. If anyone can offer up proof that Trump's threats have actually caused a chilling effect on the press, or direct harm to any American individual or corporation, I'd be willing to look at the evidence. But as far as I can see, he has stayed within the limits of the law in carrying out his agenda. The big question is, just what is Trump's agenda? Is he actually seeking to establish needed reforms, possibly raising his persona to one of a great American historical leader, in his words, "Make America Great Again?" If that is the case, he needs to more clearly define what is the standard of "American Greatness."

Is his objective to further enrich himself, and his special friends? Donald Trump is a schemer; there is method to his madness. At this point, Trump has already shown that he never had any principled plan for the economy, but only a plan to seize more control of the economy. His support for minimum wage and trade protection may prove to be smart political moves aimed at assuaging the fears of those in lower wage jobs. More likely, if his policies pass, they will result in greater opportunities to the largest companies, while the smaller competitors struggle even harder, or fold. Many of the Trump supporters I've talked to were totally unaware of the billions of dollars which he had at the start of his enterprises, his abuse of eminent domain, and the allegations of his cheating workers out of their wages. On all of this, I believe Donald Trump's only principle is: WINNING! (with an arm pump.)

Were there more qualified candidates? Perhaps. But there is an overwhelming number of Americans who hate anyone who has any association with DC policy-making. Many of these people never vote, and for that very reason. But in 2016, many of them did get out the vote, because they approved of Trump's language, incoherent as it may be. And he could get away with saying these things because he has held no previous office, inside or outside of DC. I believe this was one of the qualifications his blue-collar supporters find most appealing. In a similar way, Barak Obama appealed to many who never voted before, merely because his complexion more closely matches their demographic.

This leads to the second rhetorical question: What has happened to the United States, the nation that once led the world in the pursuit of individual liberty and industrial innovation? How could so many voters support a leader who makes no apologies, who openly brags of aspiring to become a strong-man dictator? (I suppose the short answer might be that fewer wished to see a strong-woman dictator. If identity-politics was the only controlling force, 50 percent of the voters would have turned out for Hillary Clinton.) To fully answer this important question, I would encourage you to read, Ominous Parallels, by Leonard Peikoff. I'm reading it for the second time. While the US economy has a long way to go before it hits the depth of Germany's in the 1920s, the breakdown of politics is quickly taking the shape of that of the Weimar Republic. While I do not agree with those who claim that Donald Trump is a Nazi, not even a racist, I would contend that his election is proof that a significant number of Americans would favor a dictatorship, provided that that dictatorship enabled them to oppress those of the opposite ideological and/or racial camp.  Doctor Peikoff wrote this book 35 years ago, and it has never been so relevant as in our present times. I believe we are on the road to tribalism. I can live with being wrong, but I hope I'm dead before that ever happens.

I hold onto the hope that the checks and balances of the US Constitution will prevent this from happening. If not, I believe Ayn Rand would say: "Brother, you asked for it."

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